Principal Architect Salary

Six-figure salaries are the norm for Principal Architects in the United States, with median pay hovering around $138K per year. Total cash compensation to Principal Architects approaches anywhere from $98K on the lower end to $200K on the higher end; in exceptional cases, this can include more than $38K from bonuses and upwards of $20K from profit sharing. Geography and experience level each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Work is enjoyable for Principal Architects, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. Almost all enjoy medical while a large number get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to a fair number. The data in this summary comes from the PayScale salary survey.
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$92,908 - $180,159
$93K
$140K
$180K
MEDIAN: $137,612
10%
50%
90%

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$40.45 - $87.50
$58
MEDIAN: $58.43
50%

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$0$201K
Salary $92,908 - $180,159
Bonus $4,894 - $38,108
Profit Sharing $19.57 - $20,080
Commission $10,000
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$98,452 - $201,953
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 20 Sep 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 300
Hourly Data $0$87
Hourly Rate $58.43
Overtime $66.50
Annual Data $0$201K
Bonus $4,894 - $38,108
Commission $10,000
Profit Sharing $19.57 - $20,080
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$98,452 - $201,953
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 20 Sep 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 9

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)

Job Description for Principal Architect

Principal architects are the subject matter experts for information technology projects, helping guide these projects to completion. They must be able to handle multiple projects, be innovative, and be able to communicate effectively across multiple departments in different degrees of technical detail. When dealing with software, they code new projects, maintain existing ones, and ensure information technology policies are adhered to. They serve as a team leader and are the main point of contact for many major architectural issues. For subordinates, principal architects provide guidance, support, and discipline as needed.

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Principal Architect Tasks

  • Responsible for all architectural design aspects of large or complex projects.
  • Ensure project deliverables are met on time and on budget.
  • Delegate work and provide oversight of group work plans.
  • Manage an architectural team of junior and senior architects as well as administrative personnel.

Common Career Paths for Principal Architect


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As Principal Architects make advancements in their career path, their salaries may not change right away. For example, the higher-level Senior Principal Architect position pays around the same amount as the Principal Architect job on average. Many Principal Architects choose to become Design Architects and Architects as their careers advance. However, folks in those positions report median salaries of $91K less and $89K less, respectively.

Principal Architect Job Listings

Popular Skills for Principal Architect


Overall, survey participants reported applying a fair number of skills to their work. Lucky workers who know Enterprise Solutions can expect a significant pay bump, scoring salaries 30 percent above average. System Architecture and Cloud Computing are also correlated to pay that is above average, with increases between 16 percent and 30 percent. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Design, Project Management, and Software Development. Most people familiar with Design also know Software Architecture.

Pay by Experience Level for Principal Architect

Pay by Experience for a Principal Architect has a positive trend. An entry-level Principal Architect with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $134,000 based on 9 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. A Principal Architect with mid-career experience which includes employees with 5 to 10 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $144,000 based on 31 salaries. An experienced Principal Architect which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $144,000 based on 161 salaries. A Principal Architect with late-career experience which includes employees with greater than 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $148,000 based on 148 salaries.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $147,399

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

For Principal Architects, working in the bustling city of San Francisco has its advantages, including an above-average pay rate. Principal Architects will also find cushy salaries in Seattle (+14 percent), Boston (+11 percent), Chicago (+2 percent), and Dallas (+2 percent). Principal Architects in Irvine earn salaries far below the national average by 20 percent, proving that geography overwhelmingly affects the pay scale for those in this field. Two other places where employers offer below-median salaries are Washington (14 percent less) and Houston (11 percent less).

Principal Architect Reviews

Q: What is it like working as a Principal Architect?

Principal Architect in Santa Clara:
"Principal architect of an IT Services company."
Pros: Help you to get a broader knowledge on technology solutions, running an account, manage your team and many challenges to meet with.
Cons: Have to play with constraints of your budget and resources. Frustrating when interacting with multiple teams and unrealistic deadlines.

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Principal Architect

Gender

Female
8 %
Male
92 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 57 votes.
1-4 years
2%
5-9 years
4%
10-19 years
41%
20 years or more
53%
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Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Principal Architect Salaries

▼0%

National Average
$147,000

▼2%

▼3%

Entry-Level
▼9%

Skills That Affect Principal Architect Salaries

Enterprise Solutions
▲30%

System Architecture
▲16%

Cloud Computing
▲16%

Java
▲13%

Service Oriented Architecture (SOA)
▲9%


National Average
$147,000

Software Development
▼5%


▼8%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 57 votes.

Gender

Female
8 %
Male
92 %

Years of Experience

1-4 years
2%
5-9 years
4%
10-19 years
41%
20 years or more
53%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 90%
dental benefits
Dental: 79%
vision benefits
Vision: 71%
no benefits
None: 9%
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